#39 TRENDING IN Style 🔥

Bama Rush Queen Kylan Darnell Tells All: Beauty Pageants and Positivity


March 27, 2023

Having childhood dreams can influence your destiny. Most children have unrealistic aspirations, such as becoming a rockstar, playing for MLB, or becoming a famous fashion designer. Kids also have reasonable dreams, including riding the tallest roller coaster, swimming with dolphins, and becoming a doctor.

One individual who stuck to making her childhood dream a reality? Kylan Darnell.

Kylan went viral for an Alabama Rush Tiktok that got tongues wagging, and currently reigns as Miss Ohio Teen USA. She has amassed over 140K followers on Instagram and 600K on Tiktok. The Teen Magazine has recently had the pleasure of sitting down with her and chatting about all things beauty pageants and sororities.

University Experience

College is a time dedicated to self-discovery, change, acceptance, and embracing the curveballs life throws your way. Whether you go to college for a year, four years, or even eight, you will emerge a completely different person than when you started. However, those first few weeks can be pretty nerve-racking, especially if you grew up in a small town where everyone knew each other like Kylan.

When asked about her initial introduction to the University of Alabama, she told us, "I remember being so scared and feeling like I was going in blind, which I was. While I knew that going in without friends and connections would be risky and difficult, I decided to challenge myself, which was the best decision I could have made."

Another term often mentioned at colleges and universities is Greek life. For those who may be unaware, this is a term for different exclusive societies- fraternities, and sororities associated with the university or college where they're established. Many of them have various chapters spread over campuses.

These fraternities and sororities are known for having exclusivity and a high entry standard. Still, if you can become a member, it has perks since many fraternity and sorority members become friends for life or colleagues.

When asked about her participation in the Alabama Rush Sorority, Kylan commented she decided to join Zeta Tau Alpha in the hopes of finding a community of sisters to connect with. They have helped her adjust to the new environment and its new features. "They took me around campus, helping me find classes, clubs, and outlets. I was able to quickly build a sisterhood with the amazing young women of Zeta Tau Alpha.

Every time I walk into the ZTA house, I feel surrounded by family. They always checked in on me and ensured my mental health remained intact during my crazy journey. Without them, I would have to say that my first semester would have been difficult." she voiced. So a special shout-out to ZTA at the University of Alabama!

She loved the experience so much that when asked if she would recommend joining a sorority for freshmen, she answered enthusiastically, "I would most definitely recommend it, especially if you are an out-of-state freshman. The ZTA president, executive council, and my big and surrounding sisters made my adjustment so easy and enjoyable. They were so supportive, helpful, and loving."

Influence, Positive spaces, and Collabs

Being the humble, down-to-earth individual she is, Kylan doesn't really acknowledge herself as a creator. Instead, she views herself as someone with the resources and platform to create a positive space for the young girls that admire and follow her. "I’m still shocked to this day that I’m considered a creator by some. My new role on social media has blessed me with an outlet/ voice to share positivity.

I think that it's so cool when people tell me I’ve helped them have a better day. It fills my heart with joy, and I can’t help but smile for the rest of the day." she stated.

When you have a following as big as the Bama Rush member does, you're privy to numerous opportunities. For Kylan, this was her partnership with Fashion Nova, the world's leading apparel and lifestyle brand. Darnell shared that it's been "an amazing opportunity" and looks forward to more brand deals and collaborations.

The whirlwind of make-up, heels, and dresses

Darnell's early interests were in the realm of beauty pageants. "They were so much FUN! I started pageants when I was seven. The journey has been a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t be the confident and well-spoken young woman I am today without them! " she affirmed.

Kylan was awarded the title of Fan Favourite in the Miss Teen USA pageant on Oct 1, 2022, and placed in the Top 15.

"Winning Miss Ohio Teen USA was a dream come true. It was something I worked towards my whole life. “Be Miss Ohio Teen USA." was written as a goal on my list in the 3rd grade, and I worked so hard and devoted myself so much that the moment that crown went on my head, I had a full circle moment. The win was the best win of my life, and I remember being nothing but proud.

Representing Ohio at Miss Teen USA had my heart full of pride. To be honest I was so honored to be invited that I didn’t care about the outcome. I just wanted to make my family, friends, supporters, and ProcProd family proud. I know I did just that, and making the top 15 was the cherry on top!" she shared.

Advice and what's next

Kylan advises anyone looking to get into beauty pageants to:

Just go for it. It will do nothing but benefit you. Pageantry helps with public speaking, interviewing, building an impactful platform and overall composure. It’s a great opportunity for a young girl and benefits them so much. So overall, go for it girl, you have nothing to lose and so much to learn!!!!

Despite only being a freshman in college, Kylan has many goals and ambitions for her life. When looking to the future, the nineteen-year-old expects to branch into sports reporting." I’ll continue to shine a light on being a positive influence on social media. I will continue my passion for volunteerism and my love of brightening others' days. But for now, I’m going to enjoy college and work towards my goal of becoming a sports broadcaster on ESPN hoping to make the sports media industry more inclusive to women", she told us.

Quick Q's With Kylan

1. Favourite thing to order on a night out?

Hands down a cheeseburger.

2. Favourite and least favorite clothing item?

Favorite: pleated skirts Least: bell bottoms

3. Go-to movie when you're feeling sad?

The Climb (but if I'm being honest? Anything with Adam Sandler).

4. Something unusual do you do before a pageant?

Probably sit-ups to get the abs pumping lol.

5. What was the weirdest time and place you posted a Tiktok?

That’s too hard to answer, I’m so random that there are so many. It’s too hard to choose!

6. Ultimate pet peeve?

When people don’t say thank you, or don’t hold the door for someone coming in behind them.

7. The place where you spend most of your time?

Currently, the ZTA house

8. Your dream collaboration?

Anything with the queen herself, Erin Andrews.

Keep up with Kylan

Be sure to keep track of Kylan and her Bama Rush journey. You can find her on Instagram @kylandarnell and on Tiktok, also <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@kylandarnell">@kylan_darnell. We can't wait to see what she does next!

Boitumelo Maenetja
100k+ pageviews

Boitumelo enjoys learning new things and doing things outside of her comfort zone. Boitumelo spends most of her time with friends and family. Her hobbies include reading, swimming and writing

Kate J.
500k+ pageviews

Kate is the Creative Director of The Teen Magazine.